Monkey Gland

Back in the not so halcyon days of the Roaring Twenties, doctors used to perform some — let’s say — interesting procedures. Procedures like grafting the skin of fertility inducing spots from animals onto people. It was a thing, factual and true (look up Dr. Serge Voronoff to see). Odd, yes, but these peculiar practices did inspire some great cocktails, such as our winner for today the Monkey Gland.

pour orange juice

Recently, Alice and I had some friends over to celebrate hanging out with friends — a great reason, every time. I knew that we were going to be heading out to sample some of the local, indigenous breweries in our area, but when you have friends over you can’t miss the opportunity to let them sample your booze collection.

I’m firmly of the opinion that collecting things is fun, but if you only collect them to let them collect dust, that’s a waste. So, whenever we get the chance to let people sample our burgeoning assortment of different and fun alcohols, we take it.

pour gin

There was Bobby, who’s a fan of all things except beer (which in significant quantities reacts poorly with him) or living somewhere exciting (true story, just try to convince him to leave Ridgecrest, won’t happen). He brought along his brother Little Tommy, who’s a fan of all things, but especially beer (he clearly got the beer drinking genes), expensive Scotch (which is a great pickup line for ladies in his young age bracket) and (interestingly) absinthe.

He’s such an absinthe fan, that once when the three of us were in Vegas (which is where we typically meet to do fancy booze tasting), he insisted on hitting up an absinthe cart. It was the full experience. Absinthe, sugar, water, pouring, flames, excitement, much happiness. Granted, he promptly passed out after drinking it, but he did mention that he enjoyed it prior to falling into a sleeping stupor.

Knowing that he’s a fan, I knew we needed to up our absinthe game, because absinthe is awesome. Which takes us right back to Dr. Serge Voronoff and his odd procedure with monkey bits. Let your imagination run wild — it’s probably correct.

measure absinthepour cocktail into glass

Like many drinks from the era, you get a play on names, a visually interesting drink and unique flavors that modern palettes aren’t accustomed to tasting frequently. Promise though, it’s a winner.

You have OJ (be wild, go fresh squeezed), grenadine (you can also make your own, or buy a very nice one), gin (suck it up Little Tommy, this will make you like gin) and (as promised) absinthe.

The grenadine and the orange compliment the herbaceous notes in the gin, while the absinthe ties it all together and provides you the added strength to contemplate such a peculiar procedure. At the very least, it gives you the power to stay awake (probably not) and contemplate moving to exciting new places (also, probably not, but what the hell).

Now, onto the Monkey Gland!

garnish monkey gland with orange slice

Monkey Gland
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 1½ oz. gin
  • 1½ oz. freshly squeezed OJ
  • 1 tsp. grenadine
  • 1 tsp. absinthe
  • Orange points of doom
  • Glass type: cocktail
  1. Squeeze your oranges.
  2. That’s how you make the freshly squeezed, der.
  3. Add gin, OJ, grenadine and absinthe to your shaker with ice.
  4. Shake.
  5. Like you’ve got some extra monkey bits surgically implanted in you.
  6. Exciting, no?
  7. Stop that crazy monkey shaking and pour into your coupe.
  8. Garnish with orange point of doom.
  9. Celebrate absinthe, not falling asleep, moving somewhere exciting and fine cocktails!
  10. At the very least, the first and last one.